Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Mother's day was never a huge deal to my mom. She wasn't big on what she perceived as forced celebrations. We always tried to do something with her though. A small gift, maybe lunch or dinner together. Maybe just some flowers and hanging out with her at home for a few hours.

This Mother's day will be the third Mother's day I have spent without my mom. She passed away on February 1, 2013. I spent that first mother's day without her crying in my bedroom, holding my 2 month old newborn in my arms. I don't even remember what I did for mother's day last year. This year, I feel a little less angsty about it. This year I am going to try and focus on me being a mom, rather than the fact that I don't have one.

After watching the news practically screaming at me, "Call your mom!" "What will you get your mom?" "Celebrate your mom!", I kind of felt like I wanted nothing to do with it. I turned the channel every time anything about Mother's day came on. I don't want to see it. I don't want to hear it. But I sometimes forget that I am a mom. That Mother's day is, I guess, for me as well.

My boys, 5 and 2 respectively, have no real concept yet of Mother's day celebrations. All I want to do this year is spend the day with them and their dad. Looking at their beautiful, inquisitive faces, hearing them exclaim at the wonder they discover in the world around them, and feel their tiny little hands reach for mine as we walk, comforted in that small gesture that I will protect them from harm.

I love being a mother. Sure, there are tough times. But nothing I cannot handle. I only have 2. And despite my reluctance to make a 100% decision on it, I do believe 2 is enough for me. Sometimes I feel like that balance of giving of myself as a mother and wife and leaving something left over for me is scaled heavily towards the former. I can only imagine the imbalance that I would have with more children.

My mom, Janet Marie Woodard Rollstin, 1968

“The amount that she loved us was beyond her reach. It could not be quantified or contained. It was the ten thousand named things in the Tao Te Ching’s universe and then ten thousand more. Her love was full-throated and all-encompassing and unadorned. Every day she blew through her entire reserve.” 

As much as my mother loved all her children, having 5 (5!!) kids wore her down. It was emotionally hard, physically hard, and financially hard. I have no interest in reliving that. So when I get that maternal ache, yes, it is an ache, to add another little cuddly new born in my arms and hold her (Oh to have a her!) to my breast, I have to remember to do what is best for me and my family. And I think 2 is just right. Besides, I have a strong suspicion that if I tried for a girl, I'd end up with 12 boys.

I adore my two little boys. I hope as they grow, they are healthy and adventurous and kind and compassionate and loving and humorous and empathetic...and, well, happy. And I hope they always love their mama. <3

So Happy Mother's day...even if your mama is no longer here.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Spring Fever

We have major Spring fever. The weather here in southern California has been very mild. Considering that Boston was snowed in this morning, I cannot complain about our 80 degree weather right now.

My son, Atticus, also has Spring fever. "Please, please mommy!" he exclaimed while we walked the aisles at Home Depot yesterday. "Can we please get an orange flower? They are so booti-ful!" How could I say no to that?

Traditionally, living in the desert, I've been anti-desert plants. I usually crave lush, green landscapes.  But lately, the sparse, simplicity of succulents have been calling to me. So I decided to pick up a couple of plants and have some gardening fun with the kids.

 We couldn't find an orange plant so we looked for an alternative. Atticus fell hard for this purple ornamental Kale.

I had Atticus help me plant and water our precious finds. He kept spilling soil and spraying me and the front door with water as his job was to fill up the watering can and I realized that I was doing far too much nay-saying. "Stop squirting me! Stop spilling soil! Stop talking so loud! Stop! Stop! Stop!" 

Peek-a-boo, I see you!
Finally, I did stop. I actually heard myself and was so disappointed in what I was doing. Wasn't this supposed to be fun? When did I become this complainer? This was supposed to be a fun experience with my son and I had turned it into a no session. I had to stop and remind myself, What is the big deal if I get my feet squirted with water? Who cares if he knocks the soil over onto the ground, I can sweep it back up.

I think I sometimes focus more on the finished product rather than the fun that can be had along the way. But with two little kids, I sometimes feel like I am constantly cleaning up messes like sharpie marker and toys and food bits. Sometimes, I just want things to be clean and orderly. But that's not always realistic. And I have to remind myself that it is the journey that is important, not necessarily the destination. I have to remind myself that my goal is to have these experiences with Atticus, not simply to have a pretty plant or two (though pretty plants are awesome).

I simply adore these two boys. I don't want to let the more exhaustive bits of our lives get in the way of experiences and love. And sometimes, I just need to remind myself that.